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Posted in: Back pain, and Surgery.

IFuse

Started by 1303561294@facebook on 08/20/2012 6:36am

I had iFuse surgery 10 weeks ago. I am now in physical therapy. My back pain is probably 80 % better but I am having a lot of pain in my groin area and legs. My legs ache and feel heavy. I was wondering if anyone else has had this surgery and if they have had the same problems. I also feel like a human weather vane. I have extreme pain in that joint when it is raining! My pain is so much better and i have no regrets about having this surgery.

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Dear Karen, I had the procedure 3 weeks for a hypermobile/unstable left si-joint. I started physical therapy yesterday in hope to help with muscle pain and pain from inflammation. It seems like everything muscle, joint and bone on the left side hurts from my waist all the way down to my foot. The longer I stand, walk and or move around the hurt turns to pain. It's no where near the pain I was in before the surgery and really doesn't feel the same, but it's still pain. I personally think that now the two bones are attached, fused together we are using different muscles and until those muscles get use to it it's gonna hurt. If you have any questions just ask. Please reply to this post. I really wanna know how your doing and if you have any suggestions for my they would be appreciated. Thanks, Diane

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Diane - Thanks for replying to me email. I think the physical therapy is helping but I still have a lot of pain in my legs. Mostly the groin area. I think you are right that we are now using muscles that we haven't used before and that is causing the pain. I feel like I'm having to learn to walk all over again! I think I walked wrong for so long that I developed a lot of arthritis in my joints. I'm hoping that my doctor will prescribe something for that. It's strange because some days I feel great and can walk with no pain and other days I can barely walk. I hope you are beginning to feel better and stronger. It's so nice to talk to someone who understands the pain. Most people have no idea what we are going through. Let me know how you are feeling. Maybe if we stay in touch we can work through this together. Karen

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Karen, It is so nice to meet you. I have a million questions but I'll start with just a couple things that I've found helpful. Since the morning after my surgery I've been doing a stretching exercise for my Hamstrings (Lay down on your back, bend both knees, and pull your knee to your chest) a couple days later started one for my calf muscles (sit on the edge of a chair, extend your legs, just bend your foot down and up) then 2 weeks later started one for my feet and ankles ( I stand in the door way so I don't fall over. LOL (stand on your tip toes up and down 10 times, then the good side, then the bad side) On Monday I started another one for my Hamstrings. (put your foot straight out on a step stool or even a low chair, lean your hip down and out a little bit) Oh, and the groin pain, that started yesterday. LOL At physical therapy do you lay on the heating pads with electrodes? I'll make a long story short. My therapist starts it, slides the machine closer to me and when the sensation lessens I get to push the up arrow and continue to do that till he comes back in the room. You mentioned learning to walk all over again. By any change did you use crutches or a walker after the procedure? I was surprised, shocked that I was up and walking around on my own an hour after I left the recovery room. I think I said enough but are looking forward to hearing back from you. Diane

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Diane - Sorry it took me so long to respond. Thank you for the exercises for the hamstring. My therapist hasn't done those yet. I did start out on a walker and started walking the day after my surgery. After a few weeks he started me on a cane. I'm walking without either now. I didn't start therapy until 6 weeks. My therapist uses heat on me but he hasn't done the electrodes. I think I'm going to ask him about that when I go next time. He is moving his therapy center this week so I don't have therapy until next week. I really feel like my legs are getting stronger every day. I still have pain in the hamstrings and groin but it is so much better than before my surgery I can't complain too much. I am now able to walk for longer periods which I haven't done in a long time. I couldn't tell you the last time I went shopping without riding in a motorized wheelchair but I'm able to do it now. I feel like a new person. I had to wait 6 weeks before I went back to work. Do you work outside the home? If so, do you know how long you will have to be off? I hope you are getting stronger each day. I better get to bed.

Karen

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Dear Karen, How long has your si-joint been a problem and why? For instance degeneration, reiter’s syndrome or a fracture. Your physical therapist - have you been to him in the past and has he ever worked with anyone who had a si-joint fusion? Your legs!!! Oh, you had a problem with them before the surgery. I’m assuming you have had si-joint injections in the past that helped at least for awhile. Not to scare you but after an injection how were your legs and did you have groin pain then? I’ve never used the motorized cart. I’ve been shopping at walmart.com since December 2010 when I stopped working for my paycheck. My parents bought a Day Care Center in 1986 licensed for 42 children. My sister and I inherited it in 2003 when my Dad got sick, he passed away in 2005. Right after I stopped working my 78 year old mother who ran circles around me got pneumonia. Christmas morning we found out she had cancer and she passed away 10 days later. On January 23, 2011 my 45 year old husband had a heart attack, passed away in his sleep. Somewhere in the middle of all that I started pain management. I had 2 epidurals for pinched nerves that I didn’t have. May 2011 I had my first si-joint ejection and went back to work part time for 5 weeks. August 2011 had a second si-joint injection which worked but for some reason I filled up with gas and wound up having to see a GI specialist. I have gastritis and acid reflux which is probably from all the ibuprofen I’ve taken since January 2009 for my si-joint pain. On day while searching online about reactions to the injection I came across si-bone.com. I called them and was given the name of a neurosurgeon who I made an appointment to see. In the mean time I got this horrible pain in back at my waist line and this feeling of shear exhaustion in both my legs. I had another si-joint injection and then facet joint injection. On December 1, 2011 I had a direct lateral interbody fusion, they removed my disc and put in a spacer at L3-L4. 4 days later my si-joint went out, my pelvis was twisted and stuck in the wrong position. I could barely stand. I was more less rushed to my physical therapists office to be aligned. For some reason I can’t take anything for the inflammation because of the fusion. For 3 months while recovering from one surgery my si-joint was going out and I was being aligned every 7 to 10 days. In mid March I had a si-joint injection which got rid of my si-joint pain. But, I was miserable with muscle pain from my shoulders to my knees from not doing anything for so long. By the time I got that under control the injection wore off and I was back to where I started. By now we’re fighting the insurance company to approve the procedure. They require another injection which I had on Tuesday, May 1, 2012. I felt absolutely wonderful and started taking walks again. I decided to take a couple days for myself to straightened my house and cleaned up a little bit. I was planning to go back to work on Monday for a couple hours. I have to back things up again. In 2009 I was told to stop leaning over and start stooping. Well, I damaged a tendon on the bottom of my foot. It hasn’t bothered me for almost a year but on Friday night I stepped off the curb the wrong way and messed my foot up again. Let’s just say by the time the foot was better the injection wore off. June 7th at my 6 month post-op appointment for the fusion my doctor okayed my to have the ifuse procedure. By the time we got approval from my insurance company there were no opening with him in the OR till he got back from vacation on August 6th. While waiting to have the procedure my condition worsened. I was taking pain pills just to sit around and do nothing. I couldn’t stand up for 20 minutes without the pain going throw the roof. I had to start self adjusting because my si-joint was going out every 24 to 36 hours. Where was I before I started rattling on? Oh, since September 2011 my family and neighbors have did the majority of my grocery shopping. I haven’t been to the grocery store since July 17th to grab milk, bread and a couple things for the week. That was right after physical therapy, took a pain pill in the parking lot, got home and carried the milk inside but called a neighbor kid to carry and put away everything else. As of Friday I'm walking 1/4 mile, exercising for 30 minutes and walking another 1/4 mile twice a day. We are not only working on the muscles effected by the surgery that I'm having problems with but muscles above my waist and below my hips. Hopefully I won't be in pain from my shoulders to my knees when I go back to work. Tomorrow makes 4 weeks since the procedure. At 5 weeks I need to have an x-ray to take to my 6 week post-op appointment on September 18th. As far as going back to work I guess we’ll see how things look and how I’m feeling by then. I don’t have to go back full time or even part time. I could just go in for an hour, see how I feel and go from there. You said “I feel like a new person” Well, I am a new person. I’ve been waiting so long to start my new life. I’m looking forward to a life without out pain and I can’t wait to get back to work and be around the kids again. Other then that, putting my house back together, cleaning it, working outside in the yard and getting my greenhouse back up and running again I have no clue what I’m going to do. Oh!!! Wait!!! I take that back. I do know what I’m going to do. :-) I hope your feeling well and are having a great holiday weekend. Do you wanna continue talking on here or throw e-mail? If throw e-mail my address is lady.di@comcast.net

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Hi Diane - I will send you an e-mail. My e-mail address is krncur2355@aol.com.

Karen

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